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Seve CarneraSolutions Consultant, FourKites

With both your employees and vendors operating around heavy machinery, be sure you’re armed with the right visibility tools

Each day, your yard hosts hundreds of people from your company and across your network of stakeholders. They come together with one common goal: to safely and efficiently manage your business’ supply chain. Yet even with proper training and precaution, your yard provides ample opportunity for a workplace accident, putting your business at serious risk for liability.

You may have a robust safety protocol in place, but there are still areas to improve your ability to prevent incidents and communicate hazards to your employees and outside visitors. Procedural policies – three points of contact, safety vests, etc. – help tell individuals how to behave safely, but how do you monitor the environment they perform their activities in?

Minimize Unprotected People in the Yard

One of the most vulnerable places you can be on the highway is in a  vehicle’s  blindspot – now bring that to the yard and imagine you’re walking through a maze of trailers. That’s what your yard spotter is probably doing right now as they take inventory. Simply having someone walking around poses a significant risk for an avoidable accident in the yard.

Next-era Yard Management Systems (YMS) that can manage RFID tags can take your crew off the yard and put them inside a safe truck. This not only virtually eliminates the risks associated with trailer inventory, it also creates a highly accurate map of your yard within a few minutes.

Immediately Alert Everyone of a Hazard

Hazardous events can turn deadly. When hundreds of people need to be alerted to a safety or security concern, instant communication is a must.

While traditional broadcast systems can be clunky or have holes in coverage, there are systems available today that can push notifications to mobile devices across your enterprise, with a direct connection to a system that logs its current occupants. This ensures real-time information reaches those who need it most and that everybody is informed.

Monitor a Major Point of Failure With Real-Time Data

25% of warehouse injuries occur at the dock, making it an incredibly important part of your safety strategy. When drivers are waiting in the cab for product to be loaded, miscommunication about whether their trailer is still being loaded can happen. In some instances, a driver could pull a trailer while a forklift is still onboard or in its process of departing, causing serious injury, loss of product and equipment.

Modern YMS systems can help you know if a load is still being worked on with a signal light to keep drivers aware of their trailer’s status. In the future, dock doors equipped with the latest sensors can mitigate the potential for teams to disengage a trailer while it is still being worked on. This level of added assurance safeguards the possibility of human error, which can cause serious incidents to occur with multiple parties.

Using a YMS to Bolster Environmental Safety

The next generation of YMS can handle all of these capabilities within a single platform while advancing your business strategy with actionable insights. With leaner crews working around the clock to manage your surging supply chain, there’s a higher risk today for an unsafe situation to go unchecked.

Truck drivers benefit from maximizing their time in-cab in the yard, avoiding the potential for injuries and minimizing time spent in rest areas. This slashes costs and improves efficiency as you continue to make your yard a safer, less costly part of your supply chain.

What makes a YMS an even greater investment is its business operational impact beyond the safety benefits. Companies that implement a YMS not only strengthen their commitment to safety, they can reduce detention charges, retrieve product inventory faster from the yard and promote a stronger connection between your stakeholders and the yard.

Make Yourself an Employer of Choice

Warehouse labor is in high demand these days – and when you’re offering the same compensation and the same benefits, how do you differentiate yourself? A YMS, like Dynamic Yard, not only reduces the time spent on menial tasks, it reaffirms your commitment to keeping your workforce safe. In today’s labor environment, every step you take to show your team that their safety is your number one priority will only help drive retention and make you an employer of choice.

The time to act is now when improving your yard safety program. If you’re looking to see how a YMS like Dynamic Yard can improve your team’s safety scores while delivering savings and service, contact your FourKites representative or email us at [email protected].

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